No Man's Land (Sapper)
NO MAN'S LAND
NO MAN'S LAND
HODDER AND STOUGHTON
Printed in Great Britain by Hazell, Walton & Viney, Ld.
London and Aylesbury.
During the first few days of November 1914 Messines was lost in—silence; during the first few days of June 1917 Messines was regained—and the noise of its capture was heard in London. And during the two and a half years between these two events the game over the water has been going on.
It hasn't changed very much in the time—that game—to the player. To those who look on, doubtless, the difference is enormous. Now they speak easily of millions where before they thought diffidently of thousands. But to the individual—well, Messines is lost or Messines is won; and he is the performer. It is of those performers that I write: of the hole-and-corner work, of the little thumb-nail sketches which go to make up the big battle panels so ably depicted over the matutinal bacon and eggs.
And as one privileged to assist at times in that hole-and-corner work, I offer these pages as a small tribute to those who have done so far more than I: to the men who have borne the burden of the days, the months, the years to the men who have saved the world—to the Infantrymen.
PART I page The Way to the Land 15 PART II The Land: I. a day of peace 51 II. over the top 85 III. the man-trap 103 IV. a point of detail 129 V. my lady of the jasmine 155 VI. morphia 177 VII. bendigo jones—his tree 197 VIII. the song of the bayonet 217 Seed Time: I. the seed 245 II. the first lesson 256 III. an impersonal demonstration 264 IV. somewhat more personal 268 V. a project and some side-issues 273 VI. the second lesson and some further side-issues 281 VII. the third lesson, and a digression 296 VIII. the third lesson is learned 306 IX. "and other fell on good ground" 316 Harvest 321